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UVU volleyball: Wolverines close trip by sweeping UTPA

By James Warnick

For the Deseret News

Published: Monday, Sept. 30 2013 8:55 p.m. MDT

UVU sophomore middle blocker Lauren Stringham (middle) raises for an attack at the PE Building in Orem against the University of Utah on Sept. 14. Stringham led the Wolverines with 12 kills, four blocks and a .647 hitting percentage against UTPA on Monday.

Linsey Craig, UVU Athletics

Enlarge photo»

EDINBURG, Texas — After dropping a hard fought five-set contest at Seattle U on Saturday night, Utah Valley bounced back by sweeping Texas-Pan American (25-9, 25-11, 25-23) in Western Athletic Conference play Monday night. With the victory, the Wolverines (8-9, 2-1 WAC) closed their seven-match road stretch with a 6-1 record.

"The girls did a great job tonight after that tough loss at Seattle. They came back and responded the way a good team does," head coach Sam Atoa said. "To go 6-1 and very close to perfect on the trip is just tremendous for our team. Hopefully this is a great indication of what is to come after we performed this well out on the road."

Sophomore Lauren Stringham once again led UVU on the night with 12 kills, four blocks and a .647 hitting performance. Junior Kalani Norris was next in kills with seven, while freshman Macky Treanor added five. Senior Brookelyn Hall led the way in assists by recording a match-high 29, and junior McKenna Tait chipped in a match-high 21 digs and three service aces.

UVU erupted out to a 12-0 lead over the Broncs (10-8, 0-2 WAC) in the opening set. The Wolverines outscored UTPA 13-9 the rest of the set to take the opener by 16 points. Norris led Utah Valley with four kills in the first frame, and as a team, UVU outhit the Broncs .346 to -.062.

The Wolverines then used a 9-0 run in the early stages of the second set to take a 13-4 advantage. Tait led the spurt with a pair of aces, while Stringham chipped in a pair of blocks. UVU cruised from there as it took the second frame by 14 points.

In the most competitive set of the night, Texas-Pan American used a 5-1 run to take a 15-11 lead midway through the third set. A trio of kills from Stringham and a Bronc attack error later pulled the Wolverines within one at 16-15, but UTPA countered by scoring the next two points to go ahead by three (18-15). UVU wouldn't go away, however, as it battled back to tie the set at 22-all. The Wolverines then put the match away in straight sets four points later thanks to two late kills from Stringham.

Stringham led UVU with seven kills in the final frame, while junior Jaramey Barney added a season-high of four.

In all, the Wolverines outscored the Broncs 75-43 on the night and outhit them .298 - .063.

With the victory, UVU improved to 22-1 all-time against its former Great West Conference foe.

The Wolverines now return to the PE Building for their first-ever home WAC match on Thursday. UVU will welcome Kansas City to Orem for the first time in program history Thursday at 7 p.m. Utah Valley will then close the week by continuing WAC play against fellow conference newcomer Chicago State on Saturday afternoon.

James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit www.WolverineGreen.com.

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